Tuesday, 10 November 2009

New Start... New Blog...

Ok... so a bit of a reflective blog...

Its been a whole year since my transplant (this time last year I was still in hospital recovering)... If you have been following this blog for a long time you will have read about my ups, downs, triumphs and TEARS!

You will have read about my struggles with dialysis, life at university, my amazing family, my campaigning and of course my journey to transplant!

However I feel the blog URL http://lifeondialysis--waitingforthecall.blogspot.com/ isn't appropriate anymore! I will always remember my time one dialysis and my time waiting for the call but it just doesn't fit with where I am in my life right now...

So its time for a change.... I have a new URL a new look... so why not pop on over to my brand spanking NEW BLOG!

It will still have all my old postings so you will still be able to look back at them....

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

A big week...

It is a busy week ahead... tomorrow I GRADUATE! I can't believe how quick it has come around... in fact I can't believe that I have finished my 3 years at uni! I may have to now grow up a bit!
I've had some lovely presents and cards and even got a cake off my Mum and Dad! You can see pics of them here.

The of course on Saturday it is the Live Life Then Give Life Abseil... me and 42 others (a few people have dropped out) will be abseiling down the 100ft Leasowe Lighthouse! There is still time to sponsor by clicking here! Thanks so much to all those that have sponsored already, I'm so pleased I am able to give something back to the charity that have helped me so much!

So going back in time...
Yesterday was a busy day! I went to get my hair cut (got a really short bob) and coloured (I've gone a really dark dark brown, on the advice of mum not to have red hair on my grad photos!)

I then came home and went to the gym, I think the session went well... I passed on the ball this time as my stomach was still hurting from Sunday!

So I did 20minutes on the treadmill on a higher speed setting, 3 of these minutes were jogging!
I did 20 minutes on the bike and cycled 4.5km.
I did 4 laps of the 200m track walking and 1 lap jogging.

I then went out for a couple of drinks in town with a few of my mates, I was originally not going to have a late one, but I only came in at 2.30am this morning so later than I anticipated!

I also had phone calls from the press office at the Royal Liverpool Hospital who want to do a story about me to coincide with the launch of the campaign, to hopefully appear in the Liverpool Echo in the next few weeks. The Manchester Evening News also contacted me but regarding doing a story about me graduating so that will be in the paper sometime this week!

I think thats about it for now! Wish me luck for tomorrow, I hope I don't trip up on stage.....!!!

Monday, 2 November 2009

The new campaign...

I was going to write about Save Jess-tival but check out the Live Life Then Give Life blog... as it is a great write up! Everyone had a fab night and all the volunteers did a fab job in making it run so smoothly, the acts all went down well and I had the chance to catch up with the Nick and Mike from The Yeah You's afterwards which was fab, they are so down to earth and signed their album for me! There is also a mini write up here from the guys at Battlefront!

Anyway back to today... firstly, my stomach is soooo sore today, its from all those sit ups on the ball yesterday!

Today is the launch of the new NHSBT campaign...

New research reveals the gap between what we would take and what we are prepared to give. While 96% of us would accept an organ if we needed one, only 27% of us have the joined the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR).

Many of us (45%) have the best intentions to sign up to the ODR and commit to donate our organs for transplantation after our death, but just haven’t got round to it.
While some people are still unclear about how to register, a significant proportion of us (17%) are ready to act now. A further 19% need to involve their family in the decision. Research also shows a disparity between those who think they’ve already signed up to be an organ donor – 35% as compared with the actual figure of 27% (16.5 million) on the ODR.

The campaign aims to increase significantly the number of people on the ODR, asking what we would do if someone we love needed an organ: if we would accept an organ, shouldn’t we be prepared to give one?

Welcoming the campaign, Health Secretary Andy Burnham said: "Each year, organ donors transform the lives of thousands of people. But despite this, three people die every day while waiting for a transplant. More people are signing up to the Organ Donor Register than ever before, but many more are needed.

"Most of us support organ donation and the overwhelming majority would take an organ if we needed it. I would urge everybody who supports organ donation to show it by signing up to the Organ Donor Register and discussing their wishes with their families."

You may spot TV adverts, hear radio adverts or see it in the press... lets hope all this gets people talking! If you haven't done so already... check out the new website to encourage people to sign up. It is very hard hitting but I think it is what people need to see, this is reality and it is happening to 10,000 people out there RIGHT NOW, and we can all do something about it... people are needlessly dying and we can do something to stop it by Signing up to the Organ donor Register!

I tried to get this message across on a tv interview I did today for Channel M (a Manchester TV Station)... You can watch my interview if you follow that link. The new NHSBT advert was shown during the interview... you can see it by clicking here. It depicts a young man with Cystic Fibrosis detriorating in front of his mum while they are watching tele.

Lets hope the hard hitting nature of it will push people into acting....

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Just got back from the gym and I am really pleased with what I was able to do...

I did:

10 minutes rowing
3 minutes on the bike
25 sit ups on a big inflatable ball
20 reps on a weight thing for my legs
1 minute on a machine similar to a cross trainer (but hurts 10 times more) I will NOT be going on this one again at least not until I am much fitter and can handle it!
20 minutes on the treadmill on a little bit of an incline (with around 2 minutes jogging)
15 minutes on the bike
Once round the 200 metre track!

In other News, NHSBT are launching a new campaign tomorrow, can't really tell you much more about it today but I can say that it will be in the news/media tomorrow! Check out www.savethetinman.com to get an idea of what its going to be about... I will update in the next couple of days on how its all going, I will be doing a couple of radio interviews for BBC Radio 1Xtra and filming for a channel on Sky called Channel M (from Manchester)!

Bye for now....

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Getting fit...

So I joined the gym yesterday! I thought I would use this blog so I can keep a note of what I am doing each time I go to the gym and look back to see how much I improve over the coming months!

Don't worry it won't all be about getting fit, I will keep you up to date on the latest goings on in my normal day to day life too! (which probably isn't that exciting really)

So today I went with my friend Leah and I did 10 minutes on the bike, 20 minutes walking up a little incline on the treadmill, 3 minutes on a cross trainer, 5 more minutes on the bike and then walked 3 times round the 200m track!

So this is the start... I could never have done any of this before so I am really enjoying it, and it feels like I am achieving something...

So wish me luck in getting fit....

Friday, 30 October 2009

A new me...

Ok so I said I would blog the following day... it's nearly a week later and here it is!

Life does get in the way of blogging sometimes, which is a great thing, if you look back I used to blog every other day - this was because I was stuck in in the evenings most of the time! I am out and about all the time now and although I have looooooaads more to blog about I find it hard to sit down and write it all in one blog post!

So as the title says "A new me..." from this time last year it is a completely new me, a healthier a happier me! I realise for people reading this if you read my last few blogs... I seem to cry ALOT, haha... these are different tears (I blame the drugs) I feel I can be more myself now, I didn't want to cry when I was ill, I wanted to be strong not let things get to me or make my family worry! Now if I cry they know its over something silly and not because I am feeling ill!

So things I have acheived this year (and probably cried at)...

  • I had my first christmases and birthdays in 4 years without dialysis!
  • I have been to London numerous times... including one time on my own!
  • I have spent nights away from home... Birmingham, Huddersfield and friends houses (I didn't want to do this before, in case I was ill)
  • I ran (and still run) The Gift of Life campaign... I also continue my work as Advocate for Live Life Then Give Life!
  • I have met some amazing people... new friends, old friends and celebrities this year
  • I won 2 awards at univeristy, a regional volunteering award and have been shortlisted for a national award.
  • I have had my story printed in loads of media this year... big highlights GMTV, SKY News and the metro changing its masthead
  • I got a quote of support from Gordon Brown... and still intend to meet him.
  • How could I forget my Battlefront programme... a lot of hardwork but I was really pleased with the edit.
  • I completed my dissertation.... and finished Uni with a 2:1
  • I went on Holiday to Devon with my family for a week

Normal everyday things that have changed, no dialysis, I can eat and drink what I want, I can walk up the stairs without gettin out of breath, I can get up in the morning and feel great (not dizzy or nauseous), No massive painful needles in my arm every other day, I can be spontaneous and jump in the car knowing that I am not going to feel ill and be stranded wherever I am going. I can spend times with my friends (enjoying the odd cocktail, that I missed out on when they were all partying.) I can run around after my neice! I can go on days out.... I can go shopping without having to sit down every 10minutes, I can do more than one thing in one day! The list is endless... it really is a new me!

This week has been great, I did various little things that I wouldn't have been able to do pre transplant to celebrate a year with IVY (my kidney)... I walked up to the Dream Sculpture (an up hill walk) I went out for a meal with my Mum and Dad... it was an all you can eat chinese buffet... I ate all I could (this wouldn't have been possible before due to nasuea) I also had two drinks... this may not sound like much but those two drinks would have previously had to last all day! I went out for the day to Knowlesly Safari Park...

I also set off a flying lantern in memory of my donor this week... it wasn't plain sailing but we eventually got it in the air and watched it float off for about 10minutes before it disappeared behind some clouds... (Pictures from this week will follow in the next blog)

None of the above would have been possible without the generous gift my donor gave to me and their families wishes to donate their loved ones organs... I will be forever grateful and intend to cherish my gift of life and put it to good use and make them proud. My plans for this month are...

  • I have joined the gym (SCARY) so I need to go and get some gym gear, so a trip to the Trafford Centre is called for tonight!
  • A costume halloween party tomorrow
  • I graduate on the 5th
  • Its the abseil on the 7th (I will be making final arrangements this week)
  • The 8th is my Mums Birthday
  • I will be talking to some media regarding my Vinspired National award nomination.
  • I will be talking to the media regarding the launch of the new NHS Blood and Transplant campaign to get more people on the Organ Donor Regsiter thanks to a phonecall from my transplant co-ordinator yesterday.
  • I have a meeting at the Job Centre on the 12th... so who knows I may have a job soon!
  • I hope to go to huddersfield towards the end of the month
  • On the 26th November is the awards ceremoney at the Indigo2 in London (I have bought my dress already)

It is a jam packed month with lots of things to look forward to... and again I wouldn't have been able to do half those things on the list before.

No words can express the difference my transplant has made to me and also my friends and family... it is a new me and I hope they like it better than the old one!

I really am loving life and living it to the full...

Saturday, 24 October 2009

The day I got the Call...

This day last year, I received the call that has changed my life. If you have only recently started reading my blog you can read about the events of that day here.

As you can see above...Before that day, my life consisted of at least 9 hours a week being attached to a machine to keep me alive, massive painful needles inserted into my arm to allow my blood to be cleaned. I felt wiped out/faint after dialysis often having really low blood pressure and experiencing crippling cramps. I had to keep to a strict diet and fluid restriction, I was tired and nauseous all the time.

I didn't have much of a social life, and didn't see my friends that much outside of university. I couldn't go to the shops without a sit down every 10minutes, I had lots of time of university ill and basically wouldn't know how I would feel from one day to the next.

Now... I can't even explain the difference.

I have freedom from dialysis, Mondays, Wednesday and Friday nights aren't spent attached to a machine, I don't know how I had time to fit it in before... my time is now spent with my family an friends.

Instead of massive needles in my arms every other day I have blood tests with small needles once a month. My anti rejection drugs keep me alive instead of the dialysis machine. I never have cramps anymore and I never feel faint! I can eat what I want (within reason obviously) and I have no fluid restriction which is amazing... I can go out for a meal and not have to worry what to order or that I will only be allowed one small drink with my meal!

I have a social life, I have seen my friends more this year than probably the past 3 put together! I can just grab my keys and drive to my friends houses without the worry of feeling ill, I can be spontaneous which is an amazing feeling. I can go shopping all day and not have to sit down as much as I previously would... the only reason I will sit down now is because my feet are hurting not that I am worried I will fall down if I don't sit down. I can do more than one thing in one day... this sounds ridiculous but before if I knew I had to go to university one day I would I would not be able to do anything else that day as I knew I would be wiped out so I had to rest before I would do anything and then most likely sleep afterwards.

I don't have the worry of how I will feel from one day to the next... I feel great!

This was me 25th October 2008...

Today I will be thinking of my Donor and their family who gave me the amazing gift... the gift of life... I can't put into words how grateful I am... My life has totally changed and I hope I make them proud with what I am doing... I am thankful everyday.

I will share tomorrow some of the things I have achieved this year that wouldn't have been possible with out my transplant...